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Nablus farmers capture tree-chopping Israeli settler

March 5, 2014 12:08 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2014 4:36 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian farmers on Wednesday detained an Israeli settler after they caught him chopping down olive trees in their fields in the northern West Bank, an official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that the settler was caught destroying olive trees near the Nablus-district village of Talfit.

The farmers notified the Palestinian liaison department, who contacted their Israeli counterparts to arrange for the settler's release, Daghlas said.

In January, Palestinian farmers from the Nablus town of Qusra held some 18 settlers captive after they tried to uproot olive trees in the village.

The settlers were later transferred to Israeli military forces via Palestinian liaison officials.

Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank, and Israeli authorities rarely investigate crimes carried out by settlers against Palestinian communities.

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute -- Jerusalem.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.
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